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Nebraska Sales and Use Tax
for River Outfitters and Rentals

November 2015

This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on the Nebraska Department of Revenue (Department) until amended. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the Department and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

This guidance document may change with updated information or added examples. The Department recommends you do not print this document. Instead, sign up for the subscription service at revenue.nebraska.gov to get updates on your topics of interest.

The Nebraska Department of Revenue (Department) is providing this information to assist outfitters in understanding their obligations for collecting and remitting Nebraska sales and use taxes. Outfitters most often offer unguided or unsupervised float trips where the outfitter or employees of the outfitter do not accompany the participants during the float trip. Outfitters may also offer guided or supervised float trips where the outfitter or an employee directs and stays with the participants throughout the entire trip. To assist you in understanding the different sales and use tax issues, the Department provides the following information.

Outfitters that only rent or lease equipment

Outfitters that only rent or lease watercraft (for example, canoes, kayaks, tanks, and tubes), cooler tubes, paddles, life-jackets, and any other equipment are renting tangible personal property to their customers. Therefore, the outfitter is required to have a Nebraska Sales Tax Permit and collect sales tax on the total amount charged for renting the watercraft and other items, including any charges for transportation (shuttle) services, and any other costs related to the lease or rental of the watercraft and equipment. Outfitters that rent or lease watercraft and equipment to their customers can purchase it tax-exempt by issuing to the seller a properly completed Nebraska Resale or Exempt Sale Certificate, Form 13.

Outfitters are required to collect the state and any applicable local sales tax at the rate in effect at the location in Nebraska where the equipment is delivered to the customer. Rented or leased equipment is considered to be delivered to the customer at the location where the customer takes physical possession of the equipment. For additional information, please review Sales and Use Tax Regulation 1-018, Rent or Lease of Tangible Personal Property.

Outfitters that only conduct guided or supervised float trips

Outfitters that only conduct guided or supervised float trips must pay sales or use tax on their purchases of watercraft (for example, canoes, kayaks, tanks, and tubes), cooler tubes, paddles, life jackets, and any other equipment used in providing their guided or supervised float trips. When an outfitter directs and guides the float trip, the outfitter is considered to be providing a service and is not leasing the watercraft and other items to the participants. Additionally, the charge to the participants for a guided or supervised float trip is not taxable.

Outfitters that conduct guided or supervised float trips for some customers and also rent or lease equipment to other customers

Outfitters that provide both guided or supervised float trips and also rent or lease watercraft and equipment are required to pay tax on all of their purchases of watercraft and other items. In addition, outfitters are required to collect the state and any applicable local sales tax on the total amount charged for the rental or lease of watercraft and other items, including any charges for transportation (shuttle) services, and any other costs related to the lease or rental of equipment for those transactions where the outfitter or its employees do not participate in the float trip.

Sleeping accommodations

Outfitters that operate a hotel, motel, tourist home, bed and breakfast, lodging house, or cabins are required to collect both sales and lodging taxes on the total amount charged for providing sleeping accommodations, including any amounts charged for additional persons, beds, or bedding. Charges for tent camping are only subject to the state and county lodging taxes. For additional information, please review the Department’s Information Guide titled “Nebraska and Local Taxes on Lodging.”

Recreational vehicle park services

Outfitters that provide recreational vehicle park services are required to collect sales tax on the total amount charged for these services. For additional information, please review Sales and Use Tax Regulation 1-103, Recreational Vehicle Park Services.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Steve Drzaic at 402‑595‑2078, or Margaret Akin at 308‑633‑2234.


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